Department of Justice Releases the 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today announced that the Department of Justice released the 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction. The strategy provides a comprehensive threat assessment of the nature and scope of the current dangers facing our nation’s children, including child pornography offenses, sextortion and live-streaming of child sexual abuse, child sex trafficking, child sex tourism and sex offense registry violations. For the first time, the strategy also dedicates an entire section to the unique challenges confronting child exploitation in Indian Country.
“No matter what form child exploitation takes and no matter how technologically advanced it is, it demands the full attention of law enforcement, policymakers, community leaders and service providers alike,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “This strategy examines existing efforts, assesses new threats and plots a course for the future. It identifies innovative ways in which the federal government and its partners can address child exploitation. And it reaffirms our unwavering commitment to ensure that every child in America is able to reach his or her potential, free of violence and abuse.”
The strategy analyzes the work of federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as other agencies and offices that play important roles by supporting victims, providing grants to state, local and tribal governments and non-profit partners and educating the public about the dangers of child exploitation. Since FY 2011, the Department of Justice has filed 20,260 Project Safe Childhood (PSC) cases against 19,111 defendants. These cases include prosecutions of child sex trafficking; sexual abuse of a minor or ward; child pornography offenses; obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; selling or buying of children; and many more statutes.
Despite the vigorous and coordinated efforts to combat the different aspects of child exploitation, the department also recognized that more work remains and that the response must continue to evolve with the threat. To that end, the strategy outlines four goals and objectives that build upon the department’s accomplishments in combating child exploitation: investigations and prosecutions; outreach and education; victim services; and policy initiatives.
As part of its public outreach efforts, the department is also unveiling a public service announcement that specifically addresses the issue of sextortion – a crime where someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them images of a sexual nature, sexual favors or money. Made in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the video highlights the ways in which malicious actors can use the internet to obtain and use private material to extort innocent individuals of all ages. The announcement concludes by directing individuals with tips or leads regarding suspected crimes of sexual exploitation to file a report at www.cybertipline.org.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) initiative. PSC is a department initiative launched in May 2006 that aims to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, tribal and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. To learn more about PSC’s work, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/psc.
For more information regarding the National Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation, Prevention and Interdiction, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/psc/national-strategy-child-exploitation-prevention-and-interdiction.